Listening to God
The CYCLE of TEMPTATION
James presents Satan’s strategy to destroy us. His goal is for people to fall into the trap of sin and experience the horrible consequences. The strategy is fourfold and has its roots from the Garden of Eden:
STRATEGY to Overcome TEMPTATION
Has God laid out a strategy for us as Christians to follow when we are tempted? Yes! When we are tempted, one of the most powerful phrases we can remember is: “Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” Live out these phrases:
- Listen to God’s word of truth planted in you.
- Stop the chatter by taming your tongue.
- Eliminate your anger with empathy.
- LIVE IT OUT: Listen – Tame the Tongue – Empathize
1. Is it ever right for a Christian to be angry? We are told to be angry for the right reasons and yet not sin. Why is it hard for a Christian to get angry in a righteous manner?
2. Read Ephesians 4:25-32. It appears that when we harbor anger for any length of time, it allows Satan to get a foothold in our life. What does it mean for Satan to get a foothold? Instead of anger, what should our focus be (verses 29, 32)?
3. Discuss what James means when he refers to God as the Father of the heavenly lights in James 1:17 (Genesis 1:14-16; Psalm 136:7; Jeremiah 31:35). Does it have to do with God’s unchanging character? Is He the source of light? If God only gives us good gifts and never changes in order to give us evil, then how should you relate to your Father when tempted?
4. Read these Old Testament exhortations (Exodus 22:22-24; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Psalm 68:5). Why is the care of orphans, widows, and foreigners so important to God? What should be our response to these commands from God?
Applying the Word to Life
5. Knowing the cycle of temptation will help you win the battle. When you’re aware of your surroundings, you are more alert to Satan’s schemes. Focus this week on seeing the “bait” cast before you. Do you need to avoid certain places or situations?
6. When is the last time you have gotten alone with God for an extended amount of time? Schedule an extended amount of time to listen to God and read His Word. Also, create silence around you this week (turn off radio, phone, TV, etc.).